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LI’s 'Got Talent' kicks off Thursday

Twenty-six musical acts will compete Thursday night in the first round of "Long Island’s Got Talent 2011," a competition sponsored by the Ward Melville Heritage Organization that offers college scholarships for the top-two finishers.

Thursday’s event starts at 6 p.m. at the Educational and Cultural Center, 97-P Main St., in the Stony Brook Village Center.

The WMHO collected video entries from potential contestants and selected 26 acts -- which include 24 vocalists and two bands -- to perform in the first round, said Marie Gilberti, communications manager for the organization. Judges will choose eight semifinalists who will each perform at one of the Sunday night concerts hosted in July and August by WMHO.

When the series is over, five finalists will advance to perform once more at the WMHO’s Educational and Cultural Center in October, when a first- and second-place winner will be chosen.

Both winners will receive a $2,000 scholarship to Five Towns College, and the first-place winner will also take home a $1,000 cash prize.

Tickets for Thursday's event are $10 per person. Seating is limited; reservations are required. To make a reservation, call 631-689-5888.

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